Is it Legal to Record Audio or Video In Maryland without Consent?
As technology develops and security systems, including newer video doorbells, become capable of recording audio and visual interactions between agents and customers, members are increasingly inquiring into the legality of such recordings.
It is legal in Maryland to record surveillance video with a camera in your home, including the front porch, without the consent of the person(s) you are recording. As such, we do not believe that a property owner or their agent has a duty to disclose that prospects and agents are being filmed. Please keep in mind that audio recording and video recording are two entirely different topics. Maryland does forbid audio recording of private conversations without the consent of all parties pursuant to section 10-402 of the Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article of the Maryland Code, the violation of which is a felony punishable by imprisonment of not more than 5 years or a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.
We advise licensees to remind sellers about paragraph 10 of the Listing Agreement, which provides:
10. HOME SECURITY SYSTEMS THAT RECORD AUDIO: Seller is advised that Maryland law prohibits audio recording of private conversations without the consent of all parties.
Obviously, licensees can’t control what a client does; however, it’s a good idea for licensees to send an email or otherwise document that they have informed/reminded the seller about the limits on permissible use of surveillance video.
As always, when discussing these issues with your customers, clients and/or other real estate licensees, be sure to inform them that you are not an attorney and do not purport to provide legal advice. When issues of a legal nature are presented, you should always recommend that the person with whom you are dealing seek the advice of competent legal counsel.
-Jeffrey M. Bernstein, Esq., Legal Affairs, Maryland REALTORS®